Lesson 2: Intro to Nutrition

When talking about nutrition I want to first explain that I don’t want you to view this as some sort of diet. We aren’t here to stop eating cake and to only eat salad. The intention is to help you find what works for your body and what makes you feel your best.

  • This is our first session regarding nutrition, so I want to take the time to first explain what it means.

Redefining Diet!

  • When I say diet, I want you to think of it as the way in which you’re currently eating, not as a specified plan or restriction.
  • Traditional diets don’t work because they put the responsibility and expertise outside of your control rather than intuitively.
  • Our bodies know what to do, we just have to learn how to trust them!

Food is about the individual, not the theory.

  • One person’s food is another person's poison.
  • What I have learned the most is that there is research to back every single diet out there. All the fad diets come from successful research and experiences; however, the reason why even contradicting diets work is because everyone’s body reacts differently to food. What makes you feel good and capable to eat before a match may not work for the teammate next to you. You have to be willing to take the time to figure out what works for you.
  • Our goal here is to give you the basics and to teach you how to make nutrition your own!

What is secondary food?

If you recall, we learned right away in Week 1: Lesson 1 that secondary food is the actual food we eat!

  • Food is energy!
    • Everything we eat has a set number of calories that translates to fuel in the body. The calories are the energetic properties that allow your body to have the energy to do physically do things.
    • In our society, we have all become obsessed with the cultural norm of “calories in, calories out.”
      • Athletes are often encouraged to track their calories as a means to be most successful.
    • While calories are an important aspect to be aware of, they are not the most important statistic to measure, and by no means do you have to track them in order to meet your goals.  
  • Food is nutrition!
    • Our source of:
      • macronutrients such as protein, fat, and carbs
      • micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients
    • Nutrients are what allow our bodies to function wholly, and we need a certain amount of each in order to function.
  • Food is connection!
    • to the people who grew our food
    • to nature and the earth through the land and the water
    • to the people we share our meals with
  • Food is our make-up!
    • It impacts our genetics.
    • It impacts our emotions.
    • It can also impact our mood.
  • Moreover, food is health and ultimately our medicine! The better nutrients we fuel our body with, the better our body, mind, and spirit will feel, and ultimately function and perform!

One of the most valuable things to incorporate into your nutrition regiment is whole foods.  

  • What are whole foods?
    • Whole foods are foods that have not been industrialized. Therefore, in many cases this means they occur naturally in nature.
      • these include vegetables, fruits, grains, and beans
    • Industrialized foods include sugar, white flour, polyunsaturated fats, and trans fats.
  • Our bodies are composed of cells that make up our tissues, that make up our organs, which make up our organ systems (ex. Respiratory, Cardiovascular, Nervous System) that then provides our body with the ability to function.
    • Food is information - nutritious foods lead to cells working properly whereas non-nutritious foods lead to poor cellular function, which can cause damage to the body (ex. Inflammation) and not allow you, as an athlete, to perform at your maximum potential.
  • All food is reduced to energy in the body. Whole foods are the purest form of energy you can put in your body.
  • Whole foods provide the nutrients that your body is craving. By eating too many processed foods, our body doesn't know when it will get its nutrients, so it will begin to favor storing instead of eliminating, causing you to store unnecessary waste in your body.
    • This is where the saying "Everything in moderation," comes in handy. Too much of anything, even the good stuff, gets stored, rather than used as energy for the body's basic functions.
  • Remember: we aren’t looking to take anything away from your diet!
    • The goal is to experiment with the concept of “crowding out," which consists of slowly adding good nutrients into your diet so that it "crowds out" the unnecessary foods currently in your diet.

Nutrition expectations for this course:

  • We will explore the following aspects of nutrition:
    • Macronutrients
    • Micronutrients
    • Snacking
    • Cooking & Grocery Shopping
    • Listening to Your Body
    • Embracing Your Body
  • Ultimately, it's paramount that you learn how to be curious about food and what works best for you personally!
    • We need to step away from comparing what we’re eating to the person next to us.
      • As an athlete, your diet is going to look very different than those of your friends who aren’t as active, and don’t require as much physically from their bodies.
      • Even within the athletic world, what works for you may not work for the teammate next to you.
    • Everyone is so different! With the right resources and learning to be curious about what works for you as an individual, we can achieve the results we want in order to live the most fulfilling life for YOU!

In Closing,

  • Nutrition is one of the most underdeveloped and contradicting science a person can find out there.
  • Low fat, keto, paleo, and all other well-known diets that have popped up over the years have research to support it because each and every diet has a group of people with specific needs that each specific diet provides to those individuals.
    • It's our goal here to understand the very basics of nutrition and explore what the application looks like for you.

This course isn’t about eating “healthy.” It is, however, about learning to provide your body with food that contains the necessary nutrients that your body requires in order to support hormonal fluctuations.